Enjoying Tabe-aruki

October 3, 2016

by Yukari Kimura and Shoko Ota

 What is “Tabe-aruki”

In English, tabe-aruki means ‘eating while strolling.’ It may seem similar to food sold on the streets because it is bought and then eaten right on the spot or while walking. However, the concept of “tabe-aruki” did not exist in past. The action of eating while walking was considered bad manners for Japanese people even just a decade ago. So, this can be viewed as a new trend in Japanese culture.


 Selected Tabearuki-foods


 Shinkyogoku street



Rondon-yaki is a bite-size castella filed with white bean paste. Its taste is light and sweet. It is very cheap, so it is suitable for snack time! One piece is ¥50!
This shop does not accept credit cards, so please prepare cash.



Rondon-ya (Location:京都市中京区新京極四条上ル中之町565)



Mamezen Cafe

Mermen cafe is an excellent soft ice cream shop.


Mamezen Cafe (Location: 京都市中京区新京極六角下る中筋町487-4 TEL: 070-5263-1552 Open: 12:00〜18:30)

We recommend the Kuromamt-Kinako and the Chirimen-Sansho flavored ice creams.



Chirimen-Sansho flavor

Chirimen-Sansho flavor


 Kiyomizu area

清水順正 おかべ屋(’Okabe-ya’ A Tofu restaurant)

This restaurant is a tofu restaurant but also has the cafe and the souvenir shop next to it. You will enjoy tofu, yuba, kinako (soybean powder) and other soy foods there.


Okabe-ya(Location: 京都府京都市 東山区清水2丁目239 TEL: 075-541-7111 Open: 10:30〜17:00 )

The shop, which you can see on the right side in this photo, is their souvenir shop. And you can buy some tabe-aruki food there.


The Kyo-yasai castella is ¥350 for 15 pieces.

The Kyo-yasai castella baked in the shape of Kyoto vegetables. And the castella contains some kinako. So, it is savory and tastes like soybean powder a little bit.


馬鈴 (‘Bazu’―A Japanese sweets cafe)


Bazu(Location: 京都府京都市東山区五条橋東6丁目583−37 TEL: 075-525-0100)

You can sample various kinds of Japanese sweets in this cafe. For example, rice dumplings, warabi-mochi, shiratama and so on. We want to introduce warabi-mochi. In this cafe it is made in the shape of a rabbit. You can choose from three different kind of sauces: Kuromitsu-kinako (black honey-kinako), matcha (green tea), yuzu (citron).



Fushimi area


Kyomame-an is a sweet made from soybean milk. They use only soybeans grown in Japan. This shop’s most popular item is soft ice cream made from soy milk. You can chose from many different flavors.  They also have monaka (wafer) with silky tofu and green tea tofu.


Black Sesame, Yuzu, Purple potato, soda, mango, cassis, chocolate, apricot, strawberry



monaka(wafer) with silky tofu & green tea tofu



Kyomame-an (Location: 京都市伏見区深草祓川町16-20)


Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the largest and most famous shrines in Kyoto. It is a fox shrine, so a lot of souvenirs with a fox motif are sold there. That is the same for foods; the shrine’s famous miso rice cracker is modeled after the face of the fox. Matsuya has been selling these miso rice crackers for a very long time. Of course it is the stores most popular item. It comes in two sizes: large, Kitsune-chan, and small, Kogitune-chan―kitsune means fox in Japanese; kogitsune is a young fox. They are parent and child and are the representative characters of this shop.



Kitsune-chan rice cracker


Matsuya (Location: 京都市伏見区深草一の坪町27)

Nishiki market street

花よりキヨエ(’Hanayori Kiyoe’ An olive oil shop)

Hanayori Kiyoe

Hanayori Kiyoe (Location: 京都市中京区御幸町通蛸薬師下ル船屋町399番地さしあのビル1階 Open:10:00-18:00(Mon-Fri)/10:00-19:00(Sat-Sun))

Although this shop sells mostly olive oil, it also sells a variety of tabe-aruki food. For example they sell nishiki-ika (fried squid), karaage, (fried chicken) Nishiki croquette,  and many other flavored croquettes. All croquettes made by this shop use olive oil. (When Japanese people make croquette, they often use salad oil or lard.)

Soy milk skin cream croquette

湯葉クリームコロッケ One is the soy milk skin cream croquette which costs ¥290.

コロコロコ(’korokoroko’ A traditional snack shop)


korokoroko(Location: 京都市中京区東魚屋町185-3-1 TEL: 075-256-2108 Open: 10:00-18:00)


Hannari soft icecream

はんなりソフト The Hannari-Soft is a type of ice cream that has 3 flavors: milk, matcha, and matcha and milk swirl that costs ¥380. The Hannari-Soft ice cream is covered with a topping called arare (rice ball cracker).

井上佃煮店 (‘Inoue’ A prepared food shop)


Inoue(Location: 京都市中京区錦小路通柳馬場西入ル中魚屋町485 TEL: 075-221-4357 Open: 9:00-18:00 Close: every Wednesday/first Sunday, Third Sunday)

This shop began on Nishiki street in 1884. You can buy many prepared foods that use kyo-vegetables (vegetables grown in Kyoto). In addition, we would like to focus on a special product from this shop: the chocolate croquette (¥100).

the chocolate croquette

the chocolate croquette cost only ¥100

The croquette’s middle is chocolate! Does that even go together? We would like to recommend this and want you to try it and judge if it’s good or not.

Teramachi-dori (Teramachi Street)

by Shiho Tanaka and Keita Matsui

About Teramachi-dori

Teramachi-dori is one of the most famous streets in Kyoto city. This street has a variety of characteristics, and a calm ambience.  There are many good stores from south of Kyoto City Hall to north of the center of Kyoto. These stores can be both tasteful and traditional, but on the other hand, there are also a number that offer modern styling for Japanese people. University students in Kyoto often go here to shop, and we often go there, too, as we like the clothes you can buy on this street. There are always many people around on the weekend because there are lots of people from different places, so if you hate crowds you should go on a week day.

Teramachi-dori signpost

The History of Teramachi-dori

From the Heian period to the time of Sengoku, Teramachi-dori’s width was around 32meters. This wide thoroughfare was named Higashikyogoku-oji, and was considered a high-class residential area. However, it was badly damaged during the Ohnin and Bunmei revolts. Teramachi-dori was actually named by Toyotomi Hideyoshi over four hundred years ago, as he decided to locate specific temples and shrines here. In the Meiji period, smart shops were opened, one by one, including confectionery stores and the first photo studio in Kyoto. In the Heisei period, a sheltered sidewalk was created to make the Teramachi shopping arcade, and it became the Teramachi-dori we are familiar with today.

A Variety of Shops

First, we will introduce clothes shops. There are many clothes shops here, catering for the young to the old, so people of all generations can enjoy shopping. There are a number of Kyoto specialist stores in which you can buy goods with a Kyoto look and original style. There are also some interesting Japanese-style confectionery outlets, which sell every type of Japanese-style sweets. And you can also buy many uniquely Japanese things, for example, Furoshiki, Noren, Obi and so on. In addition, there are many stores selling all kinds of items from comics to rice bowls. We are sure you can get a feel for the Japanese mind and culture through them. There are also many kinds of restaurants for the food lovers to enjoy. For example, there are traditional and modern Japanese restaurants, coffee shops, Italian and Indian restaurants, and so on. You can eat just about whatever you want to here. For the tea lovers, there are green tea stores too, with Houraido and Ippodo being the best examples. They are really good tea stores, and the Ippodo Tea Warehouse is a particularly famous Japanese specialist tea emporium. So many kinds of tea, and all so delicious, it will be really hard to choose. Don’t worry though, if you can’t come to Kyoto, you can buy them on the Internet.

Ippodo Tea Emporium

Around Teramachi-dori

Parallel to Teramachi-dori to the east in the downtown section, you can visit Shinkyogoku-dori. This street is very famous too, and there are lots of restaurants, clothes shop and other stores for young people. You can keep up with all the latest and popular fashions and food by visiting here. Nishiki-dori also runs east to west across the southern part of Teramachi-dori, and is a very good place for foreign visitors because there are many special food and cultural products of Kyoto on sale here. If you go to Teramachi-dori, you should also go to these places to make sure you have seen the best of what Kyoto has to offer. Have a great time!!

Shinkyogoku covered arcade



Haruho Furukawa, Risa Yokouchi


  • La fondazione

Yojiya è una ditta giapponese di cosmetici la cui sede centrale è a Kyoto, ed è il marchio dei cosmetici che produce. È famosa in Giappone, in particolare per i tamponi per sgrassare il viso.
Yojiya è stata fondata nel 1904 a Rokkaku Goko-machi, nell’area urbana di Kyoto.
All’inizio era un negozio chiamato Kunieda.
In seguito si è transferita a Shinkyogoku, il quartiere più animato di Kyoto, e ha cambiato il nome in Yojiya. Il nome deriva dal fatto che a quel tempo la ditta produceva uno spazzolino da denti, “yoji” nella lingua giapponese del tempo, molto popolare.
Al giorno d’oggi Yojiya conta molti punti vendita, e vende pennelli, specchietti portatili, cosmetici e articoli vari per il trucco, tra cui diversi prodotti originali.
La produzione degli articoli originali è cessata per molti anni nel dopoguerra, ma nel 1993 è riconciata, e dal 2000 è cominciata anche la poduzione e la vendita dei cosmetici di base.
Per la produzione degli articoli sono usati principalmente tre colori: il cinabro, il nero e il bianco.
In particolare, il cinabro è il colore che rappresenta Yojiya, e viene distinto dal normale rosso.

  • Aburatorigami

Aburatorigami, i fazzolettini per sgrassare e detergere il viso, sono il prodotto più popolare di Yojiya, e hanno reso famoso il nome della ditta in tutto il Giappone.
Sono stati creati nel 1920, durante l’era Taisho.
Originariamente la grandezza di un fazzolettino era quattro volte quella attuale, e poteva coprire tutta la faccia, ma è stato progressivamente modificato e migliorato, e oggi ha le dimensioni di una piccola agenda.
Il nuovo formato, molto più pratico, ha contribuito ad aumentare notevolmente le vendite. A Kyoto, in particolare, hanno cominciato a usare aburatorigami gli attori e i truccatori del mondo dello spettacolo, teatro e cinema, e le donne di Kagai, il quartiere delle maiko e geiko , ossia le geishe di Kyoto. Questo ha reso famoso in tutto il paese Yojiya come una marca tipicamente kyotese.
Attualmente vengono prodotti vari tipi di aburatorigami. Ad esempio, ci sono come aburatorigami stagionali alle essenze di ciliegio e bergamotto giapponese, e aburatorigami all’estratto di aloe venduti nei negozi duty free per turisti stranieri.
La carta usata per aburatorigami è carta tradizionale giapponese di alta qualità prodotta mescolando la cellulosa a sottilissime lamine d’oro battuto, chiamata furuyagami dalle signore dell’alta società giapponese. I fogli di carta stessi sono battuti molte volte durante il processo di produzione, e il risultato è un fazzolettino che assorbe benissimo il grasso ed è delicato sulla pelle.
Le confezioni di aburatorigami di Yojiya sono immediatamente riconoscibili per l’emblema caratteristico della ditta, un disegno ispirato allo specchietto per il trucco.

  • Caffetterie Yojiya

Nei negozi di Yojiya di Sanjo, Ginkakuji e Saganoarashiyama sono state aperte delle caffetterie.


Alla caffetteria Yojiya di Sanjo si possono mangiare pizze cotte nel forno a legna, spaghetti e dolci.


Al pianterreno c’è una caffetteria arredata in stile giapponese con le tradizionali stuoie tatami, e vi si può vedere un bel giardino in stile tradizionale di Kyoto. Naturalmente si possono mangiare i dolci giapponesi tradizionali.
Al primo piano si può mangiare il bento, il tradizionale cestino del pranzo giapponese, ma è necessaria la prenotazione.


C’è anche un caffè all’aperto, da cui si possono ammirare un giardino e un’antica casa kyotese. Ci sono pasti leggeri e dolci.
Il cappuccino è molto popolare in tutte tre le caffetterie, e viene servito con il simbolo di Yojiya disegnato sulla schiuma. È divertente provare a modificare il disegno con il cucchiano. Ve lo consigliamo!

Shinkyogoku & Teramachi-dori : Crossroads of Today and the Past

by Miki Katao

Shinkyogoku is one of the biggest shopping arcades in Kyoto. Whenever you visit, you will see crowds of people. Some are children who come from around Japan on their school excursions, while others are sightseers from around the world. I cannot help thinking that Kyoto is an international city when I hear people in the arcade speaking in Japanese, English, Chinese, German, and Korean, among many other languages. I wonder what impression these international visitors bring back to their countries. Most of us Japanese tend to see Shinkyogoku as a nice and stylish shopping area, but the street is not just for shopping. There is another way to see it. It also has temples and a shrine. First, I should tell you about Teramachi-dori so that you will understand Shinkyogoku better.

Teramachi-dori is next to Shinkyogoku.The word teramachi literally means “temple town.” And in fact, various temples moved here from around the city center because of the big remodeling of Kyoto started in 1590 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Temples moved to the east side of this street, while on the west side, stood many shops for religious accessories and stationery. Even now there are several shops for Buddhist prayer beads on Teramachi-dori. Big prayer beads are seen on the signs of these shops.

Shinkyogoku is a much newer street than Teramachi-dori. Since many temples moved to Teramachi-dori, their precincts were used for temple festivals and the surroundings developed with some shows and events. However, Teramachi-dori and its surroundings lost their liveliness because of the war during the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate (1860s) and the relocation of the capital to Tokyo after that.
In 1872, the second governor of Kyoto Prefecture, Makimura Masanao, created brand new street in the precincts of the temples which stood between Shijo and Teramachi-Sanjo in order to encourage citizens.

In 1877, some theaters and restaurants appeared and it became one of the familiar arcades in Japan. Many Japanese never quite noticed that there are some temples and a shrine in Shinkyogoku. Most of them stand quietly sandwiched between shops. I’ll introduce you to them.

When you walk along this Shinkyogoku, you will first notice Nishiki Temmangu Shrine). Sugawara Michizane is enshrined there. Since he was a statesman, scholar and poet, he is worshiped as a god of wisdom, study, good business. This is the only shrine of a local deity on this busy street. The shrine has the strange well. Its depth is about 300 meters and water always springs out from there. According to a survey, the water is tasteless, odorless and germ-free and it is suitable for drinking. You can obtain it free of charge. This shrine is nice to visit at night because many lanterns are lighted and you will feel as if you were in the movie “Spirited Away”.

Next, after a little walk, you can find an exotic temple, Tako Yakushi-do. “Tako” means an octopus. This temple has an interesting legend. From 1249 to the beginning of 1256, the priest Zenkou lived there. One day his mother became sick. She told Zenkou, “I will probably recover from this sickness if I eat an octopus. It has been my favorite food since I was a child.” Zenkou ran to the market and bought one. People actually suspected him for buying fresh seafood because priests were not supposed to kill living things. People made him to show what he had. As legend has it, he no sooner showed what he had bought than the eight legs of the octopus changed into eight rolled sutras and they shone with light. After that, the octopus returned to its former state and was placed into a pond. It gave off azure lights and Zenkou’s mother is said to have recovered from sickness because of the mysterious light.

In keeping with this legend, it is said that not only physical illnesses but mental ailments will be cured here. In the temple, there is a wooden octopus named “Nade yakushi.” You pray by touching it with your left hand, and your illness will be cured. When I visited there, the temple was covered with a strange atmosphere since some visitors had been graced.

Walking a bit farther, you can find one more temple, Seishin-in. When I visited this temple it was silent and no one was there. The first chief priest at Seishin-in was Izumi Shikibu. She was a famous tanka poet of the 10th and 11 centuries in the Heian period. They say that she was a woman of beauty and intelligence. Alongside Seishin-in, there is a small pagoda, which is said to be the grave of Izumi Shikibu. There is another nice thing near this pagoda. It is suzu nari guruma. You wish for something while rolling the stone carved with a sutra (see picture, below right), and your wish may be realized. In this temple, there are many other graves as well, so you had better visit there before it starts getting dark.

In this article I have just introduced the spots I found interesting, but actually there are more temples. You will find some interesting things at these other temples as well. Once you enter their precincts, you will feel comfortable even though you are on a busy street. It is good for you to rest at these silent temples when you become tired of crowds of people and noise. This is one of the unique features o Kyoto.

While walking through Shinkyogoku and Teramachi-dori with another perspective, you can find that both streets have historical aspects as well as modern ones. In Kyoto, busy streets are not just busy streets, but contain various wishes and hopes which people had a long time ago. The street where you walk now is also one which Izumi Shikibu might have walked through a millennium ago. The temple where you prayed for peace is the same place where people in Heian period would have prayed. Don’t you think it’s romantic to walk through both streets thinking so? We can say that we live and walk together with people who lived before. Both Shinkyogoku and Teramachi-dori are the streets where today and the past cross each other.

– Nishiki Tenmangu 8:00~21:00
– Tako Yakushi-do 9:00~17:00
– Seishin-in Anytime